SAJP Fellows

Aroosa Shaukat

Producer, Indus News

Aroosa Shaukat is a journalist working with Indus News, an English language international news channel based in Lahore, Pakistan. She has been working with the channel since last year as a producer and is attached to the news show ‘Scope’, where she is responsible for the content. She also produces features for the channel.

Aroosa has been a journalist for over 8 years now. A textile engineer by academic training, she switched her career in 2011 when she began working as a cub reporter for The Express Tribune in Lahore. She worked as a reporter for 6 years, reporting on several beats including education, health, human rights, and the social development sector following which she reported on politics. She was part of the cross-media team covering Pakistan’s 2013 General Elections and by-elections during which she reported for television, digital, and print platforms of the Express Media group. She was part of a US reporting fellowship under the US State Department in 2014. During her time at The Express Tribune, she worked on a reporting collaboration with the Medill School of Journalism for 2 consecutive years. She has worked as the Features Editor Digital for Dunya News and has also reported for TRT World during Pakistan’s 2018 General Elections.

As part of the 2019 Chevening Fellowship, she hopes to develop a broader understanding of issues that challenge modern day governance, engage with other professionals from the region and beyond, and be able to exchange professional practices which would enable her to pursue her career further in an ever dynamic media world.

Atikh Rashid

Senior Correspondent, The Indian Express

Atikh works as a Senior Correspondent with The Indian Express, an English language daily in India known for its investigative reporting. He is based in Pune and has been reporting for the daily for the last seven years.

Atikh hails from rural Maharashtra, and completed his primary and secondary education in Parbhani, his home district, about 500 km from Mumbai. He moved to Pune to pursue a degree in Agricultural Sciences from the College of Agriculture and subsequently completed a post-graduate degree in English Literature from the University of Pune. He also completed a post graduate course in Journalism from Express Institute of Media Studies, New Delhi.

Over the years he has reported on various subjects from agriculture to higher education and from public transport to Marathi cinema as per the need of the newspaper, as well as his own penchant for newer experiences. He is especially inclined towards using Right to Information Act as a tool to probe government functioning and to churn out exclusives.

He's a cinephile and is presently pursuing a PhD on the topic of 'Noir in Hindi cinema of 1950s' from the University of Pune.

Farooq Baloch

Senior Reporter, Samaa TV Digital

Farooq Baloch is a mid-career journalist with over 10 years of experience, currently working as Senior Reporter for the digital arm of Samaa TV, one of Pakistan’s leading broadcast channels.  Baloch’s main role is to write interpretive versions of economic and business news geared towards a digital audience, with the objective of engaging them in public policy debate. His work was recently shortlisted (runner-up) for Pakistan Data Journalism Awards (2019).

Baloch started his career in 2005 as city reporter at The News International, the flagship English newspaper of Pakistan’s largest media conglomerate, Jang Group. His investigative reports in education, crime, traffic, and human rights resulted in corrective actions and earned him a Fulbright Master’s Scholarship. After graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2011, he joined the International New York Times’ local affiliate, Express Tribune, as a business reporter. There he exposed a major corporate awards scam that used the Prime Minister to appear credible. It was during his time here that he won a highly competitive financial journalism fellowship at Reuters’ London Bureau.

One of Baloch’s major milestones was Profit, a fortnightly business magazine he helped launch in 2016 as Editor Reporting. He built a team for the magazine, trained them, and spearheaded its reporting, making the magazine Pakistan’s most prestigious business publication in no time. One of Baloch’s reports on Pakistan’s BPO industry won him an Agahi Award (2018), a reputable national award that recognises journalists shaping the future of journalism in Pakistan. 

Last year, Baloch became a member of the Karachi Press Club, a fraternity of journalists and a platform for democratic groups established in 1958. Through his Chevening Fellowship he hopes to broaden his global perspective and sharpen his analytical and research skills to advance his career as a leader in journalism.

Huda Ikram

Multimedia Broadcast Journalist, BBC

Huda Ikram works with BBC Pakistan as a Multimedia Broadcast Journalist. She has recently joined the organisation and has been associated with them for the last four months. Before joining the BBC, she was a Political Reporter for almost six years at Geo TV, the most prestigious and highly watched news channel in Pakistan. She has worked on the issues of politics, governance, and development. Before Geo TV, she was a Political reporter and News Anchor at Express News TV for almost six and a half years and was part of the team that launched the channel. She has also worked for Online Geo web. Huda completed her Masters in Mass Communication with a specialisation in Development Journalism from University of the Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan, and was a USA International Visitors Leadership Program fellow in 2010.

Her assignment on the US Election 2016 took her to the USA. She was part of a pioneering team at her channel that started shooting and editing reports on iPhone. Reporting from public meetings of political parties all over Pakistan, on catastrophic floods and from Tharparkar’s Coal mining exploration site has given her deep exposure and insight into the governance and ongoing development projects in Pakistan. She has always believed in getting first hand information and that is her driving force.

She hopes that the Chevening Fellowship will help her further enhance her abilities as a journalist, and also add a global perspective to her work.

Maitri Porecha

Principal Correspondent, The Hindu BusinessLine

Maitri Porecha is a Principal Correspondent at The Hindu BusinessLine, a national daily newspaper in India. She has been with The Hindu BusinessLine for almost a year and writes on health, environment, women and children's issues, tribal affairs, and so on. She pursued her undergraduate (Journalism) and post-graduate (Political Science and International Relations) degrees at the University of Mumbai. She has also worked with Daily News and Analysis (DNA), The Free Press Journal, and CNBC TV18. Her assignments on tuberculosis, narcotic drug addiction, cow-related violence, maternal mortality, and non-communicable diseases amongst tribals have taken her to different parts of India.

In the past, she took a six-month sabbatical between two journalism stints to live in a tribal area of Western India. She worked on issues related to building infrastructure in areas that lacked motorable roads, strengthening local governance, and the raising of awareness amongst tribals, especially in the sphere of women’s and children’s health. She was named the Lung Health Fellow by The National Press Foundation in Washington in 2013. In 2015, she received the Eurekalert Science Fellowship by the American Academy for Advancement of Sciences that publishes the Science Journal. In the same year, she was awarded the Next Generation of Science Journalists prize by the Pulitzer Centre of Crisis Reporting. She has also been the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Centre for Media Studies reporting fellow for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in 2017-18. 

She believes that the Chevening Fellowship will provide her an opportunity to see the world from the lens of her South Asian neighbours in a western world set-up, which would truly prove to be a melting pot of cultures.

Mathan Paramanantham

Editor at Tamil Mirror

AP Mathan is the Editor of the Tamil Mirror daily newspaper. He has nineteen years’ experience in the field of journalism, both print and electronic, and has edited a number of other magazines and newspapers in leading media companies such as Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. and Express Newspapers (Ceylon) Ltd.

He is a prolific writer and has authored many articles and editorials, as well as a published book. He is also an excellent communicator, being a lead trainer at numerous workshops. He has trained over 400 participants across Sri Lanka in digital safety and physical safety workshops, and seminars both in the Tamil and Sinhala languages.

Mathan is a Business Management graduate from the Buckinghamshire New University. He has been invited to share his expertise as a visiting lecturer on numerous occasions, in Sri Lanka and many Indian universities. He has displayed the ability to multi-task as an editor and team leader, whilst demonstrating leadership in management skills.

Mathan is also an alumnus of the US International Visitors Leadership Programme (IVLP) and Asia Journalism Fellowship (AJF) in Singapore.

Mousrur Shakil

Senior Staff Correspondent, Impress Telefilm Ltd Channel I

Mousrur has been a Senior Staff Correspondent for the last six years at Impress Telefilm Ltd Channel I, one of Bangladesh’s premium television channels. He does special reports for the channel and also, as a mentor, oversees many reports prepared by his junior reporters. He also hosts a talk show involving policy discussions with industry leaders. His areas of expertise are the apparel sector and migrant workers. In Bangladesh these two are very strongly connected to the national economy - Bangladesh is the world's second largest garment exporter, whilst migrant workers are a major source of foreign currency for the country.

Mousrur’s career in journalism has now spanned almost eleven years. Every assignment has brought new challenges - he tends to take on stories that require lengthy data collection and analysis before they are ready to be aired. His report on an organised scam by a large corporate group revealed a unique yet illegal way of money laundering that led the government agency to reevaluate their procedure of investigating financial crime. His series of reports on Sandwip Island at Bay-Of-Bengal, its destruction and strategic importance, brought noticeable changes in the attitude of the local government towards this island and its potential.

Notwithstanding his fulltime job, he has not lost sight of his dream of pursuing higher education and further learning. He is enrolled as an MPhil. student at Dhaka University and has submitted a thesis titled, ‘The Role of Media in Public Policy Making Process in Bangladesh: A Case Study on Extra-Judicial Killings’. He is an occasional guest lecturer on broadcasting courses.

He hopes that the Chevening Fellowship will indeed broaden his scope of work and area of understanding thereby enabling him to contribute more constructively towards his field of work.

Raisa Wickrematunge

Editor; Groundviews, Centre for Policy Alternatives

Raisa Wickrematunge is the Editor at Groundviews, a civic media initiative that uses a range of genres and media to highlight alternative perspectives on governance, technology, human rights, ethics, peace-building, gender, and other issues. As Editor, Raisa curates both the site and its social media presence. She has also represented Groundviews at international events, including the New York Times Democracy Forum and the CPI Global Workshop on technology and advocacy. Raisa is also an alumna of the US International Visitors Leadership Programme.

Previously, Raisa was Deputy Features Editor at the Sunday Leader. There she covered a variety of issues, ranging from politics to human rights, news and features over a five-year period. She was responsible for the revamping and redesign of the 'Features' section aimed at appealing to a younger audience. Raisa has also worked as a freelance contributor for several publications, including Himal Southasian Magazine, FirstPost, Global Voices, and Roar Media.

Raisa holds a Master’s degree in Marketing (external to University of Leicester) and a Bachelor’s degree in Law with Management (external to the University of London).

Rauf Yousafzai

Freelance Journalist; Arab News, Newsline, and The Friday Times

Rauf Yousafzai is a freelance journalist who contributes to Arab News, Newsline, and The Friday Times. For the last five years he has written for various media outlets on militancy, transgender issues, and post-war trauma. He is based in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a region of Pakistan that borders with Afghanistan. Rauf has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from University of Peshawar. In the past, he has also worked with Daily Express, Dawn, Express Tribune, First Post (India), Telegraph, Daily Trouw, and NOS (Netherlands). His assignments on Talibanisation and governance have taken him to different parts of Pakistan and especially to former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Rauf hopes that the Chevening Fellowship will help him delve deeper into the issues he tracks, improve his analytical skills, and add a global perspective to his writings. 

Ruby Dhingra

Anchor and Supervising Producer, New Delhi Television (NDTV)

Ruby works with New Delhi Television (NDTV), India's leading national news network, as a Supervising Producer and Anchor. Her decade-long career encompasses ground-breaking reportage from conflict zones, as well as reporting on terror incidents, election campaign stories, and gender issues. She has studied psychology and journalism from Delhi University and Xavier Institute of Communications, Mumbai respectively.

Ruby is an Emmy-nominated producer and has handled both local and international assignments for the network, including coverage of the Arab Spring in 2011, the US Presidential elections in 2016, and ground reportage on the Kashmir issue since 2009.

Ruby's efforts have won several awards on the home turf as well as on the international fora, including the Bronze World Medal at the New York Festivals, and the Asian Television Awards (Best News Programme). She was also a key player in NDTV (as well as India's) first ever news nomination for an Emmy Award (Best Current Affairs and News Coverage, 2015).

She hopes to utilise the Chevening Fellowship to forge a more diverse network, and engage in more enriched discourse on the coverage of issues close to her heart, including gender rights, and policy issues.

Samrat Choudhury

Independent journalist and author

Samrat is an author and journalist from Shillong. A former editor of several mainstream broadsheet English newspapers in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru, he is currently writing a book on the Brahmaputra River which flows through Northeast India. The topics which interest him include the politics, history, and culture of this complex and diverse border region of India, and of the country as a whole. An engineer by training, he is also interested in technology and its impacts on society. 

Samrat’s first book, a novel titled, 'The Urban Jungle', was published by Penguin Books in 2011, and nominated for the Man Asian Literary Prize. His other publications include short stories, essays, and a graphic novella. Some of his works have been translated into German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. He has also been a columnist for the Hindustan Times, DNA, and The Asian Age; an OpEd writer for the Dhaka Tribune; and, a contributor to international publications including The New York Times and National Geographic Traveller. He co-edited 'Insider Outsider',  a volume of writings on issues related to migration and ethnic conflict in Northeast India by writers from the region, which was published in January 2019. Samrat is also a regular speaker at conferences and literature festivals. He was the Asian Leadership Fellow from India at the International House of Japan in Tokyo in 2018.

He hopes that the Chevening Fellowship will improve his knowledge and understanding of British journalism and provide him an opportunity to connect with editors and academics in the UK who share interests similar to his.

Sana Gulzar

Freelance Multimedia Journalist

Sana Gulzar is a freelance Multimedia Journalist based in Islamabad, Pakistan. Until recently she was working as Planning and Multimedia Producer at the BBC Urdu Service in Pakistan, where she remained for almost seven years. During her time there, she was part of the launch team and also the Pakistan Producer for the BBC Urdu’s first-ever news & current affairs television programme, Sairbeen. She worked with a team of reporters and video journalists to produce stories from all over Pakistan especially covering politics, governance, culture, militancy, gender, and human rights issues. She produced numerous specials and projects for the BBC including a pre-election series traveling across the country with women bikers, a special on the dying regional languages of Pakistan, a project on the human cost of the China- Pakistan Economic Corridor, and a digital-video series on the food cultures & traditions of various Pakistani cities, to name a few.

Currently, she is a member of the visiting faculty at Iqra University, Islamabad teaching broadcast and multimedia journalism at the graduate level.

Sana has a post-graduate degree in Broadcast Journalism with a major in Documentary Filmmaking from the Columbia University’s School of Journalism where she went as a Fulbright Scholar. During her time in New York, she reported and produced a documentary film, Devout, that chronicles the lives of six women trying to reconcile their alternative sexuality with their devotion and commitment to Orthodox Judaism.

Previously, she has also worked at DawnNews Television as Producer of Current Affairs and was part of the team that helped launch the channel in 2007.

Through the Chevening Fellowship and by working alongside fellow South Asian journalists, she hopes to add a regional as well as a global perspective to her work with the expectation of developing connections for future journalistic as well as academic collaborations.

Sania Chuhdary

Reporter, ARY News

Sania Chuhdary is a Reporter at ARY News, one of the leading news channels in Pakistan. She covers politics, security, and public issues for both TV and digital mediums. She holds a Master’s in Mass Communications from University of the Punjab.   

Sania has been working with mainstream Pakistani media for the last nine years. During this period, she has covered almost all the major terrorist activities that have occurred in Lahore. She has reported the stories of survivors and victims of terrorist attacks, suicide bombings, and hostage sieges carried out by militants. She has also focused on political unrest, accountability of politicians, including the former Prime Minister’s trial after the Panama scandal, general elections, and political transitions in the country.

She won the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) Fellowship in 2014. She also participated in the third Investigative Journalism Conference at Seoul, South Korea in 2018 during her fellowship at Global Investigative Journalism Network. Sania has received Story of the Month Award twice from ARY Group of media. She teaches at a media university as a visiting faculty.

She believes that the Chevening Fellowship will help her enhance her journalistic skills and add new a perspective to her work.

Saqib Tanveer

Digital Producer, Independent Urdu

Muhammad Saqib Tanveer is working as a producer with Independent Urdu, the Urdu service of The Independent UK. He has recently joined Indy Urdu after spending a long time with several national broadcast stations of Pakistan including Geo TV and Samaa TV. Saqib has also had a short stint with the Government of Pakistan where he was awarded a year-long fellowship at the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms. He is a fellow of the Emerging Leaders of Pakistan program of the US State Department and Atlantic Council.

Some of his prominent work includes reporting on the 2016 US Presidential elections, the 2018 General Elections in Pakistan, documentaries on the Army Public School attack in 2014, and the historical background of Pakistan Day. At Geo, the news show produced by Saqib was consistently the most watched weekend news show for four consecutive years.

In 2016, realising the effects of fake news, Saqib launched his own portal, FactNama, which aims to separate facts from fiction. FactNama, a not-for-profit organisation, is the first ever dedicated portal in Pakistan that has delved into countering misinformation. Saqib fears that the constant attack on journalism the world over is threatening the profession and he hopes to play his part in restoring the sanctity of journalism.

He wants to use the Chevening Fellowship to better his understanding of different perspectives and is actively seeking to emulate the best practices employed by other participants of the fellowship.

Shabbir Ahmed

Deputy News Editor/Bureau Chief, Times Now

Shabbir Ahmed works with Times Now, India’s leading English news channel, as Deputy News Editor. He reports from the Southern state of Tamil Nadu and heads the news station for the channel. During his 15 years as a journalist, he has covered a wide variety of topics, primarily focusing on governance, politics, crime, and socio-cultural issues.

Shabbir is a graduate in Commerce and has also been awarded a Diploma in Journalism from Madras University. Starting his career as a newspaper boy, Shabbir worked his way up and has worked with several leading regional and national media organisations such as Raj TV, NDTV-Hindu, and India Today in the past. He has uncovered several scams of the ruling government in Tamil Nadu and has also exposed wrongdoings of many high profile political leaders from the state. Apart from covering the national and state assembly elections extensively, Shabbir has also widely reported on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue.

He was awarded the ‘Youth Icon’ award by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Foundation for his reportage on the devastating floods that hit Chennai in 2015. He was also selected for the ‘Next Generation Leaders’ programme by the Korea Foundation.

Shabbir believes that the Chevening Fellowship will help him discover new areas of interest and that the exchange of ideas with people from different parts of the world will give him a global perspective on various issues. He hopes that the fellowship will serve as a platform to renew and strengthen his passion for journalism, thereby propelling him to a position of influence.

Sonia Bhaskar

Head of TV and Web Synergy, New Delhi Television (NDTV)

Sonia Bhaskar works with New Delhi Television (NDTV), India's first and most prominent private broadcaster, as Head of TV and Web Synergy for the Group. She has been with NDTV for more than 19 years and has held different positions over the years. From being a researcher and business journalist working on India’s longest running business show – India Business Report on BBC World (produced by NDTV) – to being editor in charge of various weekly feature shows on NDTV’s business channel NDTV Profit, Sonia went on to head technology programming for the network, producing shows like Gadget Guru that crossed many milestones and set numerous benchmarks, being the first show of its kind on Indian Television.

After 15 years of working in the broadcast medium, Sonia recently moved to join NDTV’s digital team. In her current position, she develops and executes digital and social media content and promotion strategies for television shows, events, and brand solution concepts for sponsors, for all channels of NDTV. She also handles content generation for many social campaigns that NDTV is associated with on health, sanitation, and environment. Some of these campaigns have won various awards within India and also won Gold and Silvers at South Asian Digital Media Awards in the last few years.

Sonia graduated in Economics from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University. She has been a Reuters Fellow as a business journalist and is currently part of the Google News Initiative in India to train journalists in fact checking and verification tools.

She is looking forward to the Chevening Fellowship to improve her skills as a journalist and learn from the enriching experience of interacting and working with fellow journalists from other South Asian countries.

Uttaran Das Gupta

Deputy News Editor, Business Standard

Uttaran Das Gupta works with Business Standard, India’s leading financial daily, as a Deputy News Editor. He has been with BS for four years and writes on politics, cinema, and literature. Uttaran completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. He has also worked with The Telegraph.

He conceptualises and publishes the daily newspaper besides writing two columns, Frames per Second and Verse Affairs. His book of poems, Visceral Metropolis, was published in 2017 and his novel, Ritual, is forthcoming this year.

Uttaran received the Robert Bosch Stiftung India-Germany Media Ambassadors Fellowship in 2018 and was at the Sangam House Writers’ Residency in 2016.

He hopes that the Chevening Fellowship will help him complete a story on Bangladeshi bloggers in exile that he began in Berlin last year, and also gain perspective into how editorial teams in the UK work.